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Hamas: Palestinian Authority refusing to lift Gaza sanctions

4 December 2017 20:30


Hamas says the Palestinian Authority (PA) is preventing a landmark reconciliation deal between the resistance movement and its rival Fatah party which governs the PA from bearing fruit.

Hamas made the statement on Saturday, addressing the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

Fatah and Hamas have been at odds ever since the latter scored a landslide victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006. Ever since, Hamas has been governing the Gaza Strip, while Fatah is headquartered in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Repeated attempts at rapprochement failed between the two sides until October, when they inked the historic deal in the Egyptian capital Cairo.

Picture taken on October 12, 2017 shows Fatah’s Azzam al-Ahmad (R) and Saleh al-Aruri (L) of Hamas signing a reconciliation deal at the Egyptian intelligence services headquarters in Cairo. (Photo by AFP)

Under the deal, the PA is to take control of Gaza, and end a string of punitive measures against the coastal enclave, including its refusal to pay Israel to provide the besieged territory with electricity.

The Palestinian Authority, however, has missed a deadline for the takeover of the Gaza Strip, which had been set for December 1, and continues to implement sanctions against the enclave.

“We demand that the government of Rami Hamdallah assume its responsibilities in full and lift the unjust sanctions imposed on our people in Gaza,” the statement said.

The resistance movement said the Palestinian Authority had “made no effort to lift the sanctions and ease the sufferings of the people of Gaza.”

The PA dismissed the charges as “irresponsible” in a statement of its own.

Sources close to both factions were also quoted as saying that the Authority was expected to take over Gaza’s control on December 10 following talks between representatives of the two sides in Cairo later Saturday.

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